Welcome to the world of pins. Collect them, trade them, wear them.
Anyone who has collected pins can tell you that it can easily turn from hobby to obsession. So what is it about these little (or big) decorative pieces of metal that so many people find appealing? In this article, we hope to not only answer that question, but to shine some light on what is a growing underground movement among many varied subcultures.
The power of self expression
Custom Lapel pins can be made large to stand out, or as a small accent; from plain and simple, to extremely embellished and overstated. They can be anything from simple and cute phrases, to bold proclamations. They can be created as mementos commemorating favorite movies or tv shows, sports teams, political movements, musical groups, even cosmetic products. Anything that reflects a person’s identity can be found as or made into a pin. Are you sensing a theme here?
What we’re getting at is, the sky is your limit
With so many different adaptations of ideas and art available, most pin collections end up being unique to their holders. In addition to being an excellent way to make a statement, pin collectors can choose to wear them in many fun and creative ways: Handbags, backpacks, jackets, shirts – anything made of fabric can become a canvas for a pin collector. In fact, many people hold them in the same esteem that they hold jewelry, a type of embellishment for their particular mood or look for the day. Not to mention, given the materials that can be used for the construction of these unique little items, by all rights they are jewelry. More on that later.
A collector’s arsenal
The era for collecting coins and stamps is done and gone. A new age awaits, that of pin collecting now stirs the masses! Jokes aside, (please don’t throw away your coin and stamp collections) the market for custom lapel pins is surprisingly large and growing in demand. While many lapel pins can be custom made in whatever quantity the buyer requests, many are also deliberately made to be collectors items. In fact, extremely rare pins have been known to be sold for $5000 or more. Remember when we called them jewelry? Well, we’re looking at you, “Steamboat Willie 50 Year Service Award Pin”, which is rumored to have a diamond set in it.
A business opportunity
Now that we’ve regaled you with tales of diamond studded lapel pins and budding counter culture, your wheels may (should) be turning. How can this movement can work for your situation?
Glad you asked.
People work best in a place where they feel appreciated. Unique, small gifts can be incredibly motivating. In addition, people who enjoy their work and feel that they are valued tend to become very loyal employees. Recognize their achievements and eccentricities with a custom lapel pin, and you’ll have plenty of motivating material for company swag. Even playing up to inside jokes, or giving awards for silly habits (“Most caffeine consumed in an 8 hour workday”) can make an employee felt seen, and want to give their best. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, the most engaged, loyal and positive employees tend to be the ones that feel their emotional, mental, physical, and in some cases spiritual needs are being met at the office. If an employee feels invested in, then there is an excellent chance that they will bring a good name to your company, with their words and their actions.
Lapel Pins for events
As we partially covered in the previous paragraph, people love swag. Free things are almost impossible for anyone to pass up, and if you upgrade that to cool free things, well then you’ve started an entire new ballgame. Want to make your event into something that leaves an impression? Give away something awesome such as a custom designed lapel pin. Something that can be easily used or worn that can stir the memories of that experience. PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) found that when it comes to collecting promotional items at trade shows and other events, a quarter of respondents would pick up the item, regardless of what it was. Be memorable by standing out.
Word of mouth advertisement
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust the recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. People commonly speak to their inner circle about the good and bad of their experiences, and inevitably this will contribute to your reputation. This is huge, and the biggest reason why a little bit can go a long way when it comes to investing in your employees or events. To take this even further, ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute) concluded that consumers were 2.5 times more likely to have a positive impression of promotional products, compared to internet advertising. In another study by PPAI, it was found that 94% of people remember where they received a promotional product gift. Of those who receive the products, 85% of them do business with the advertiser, and 58% said they keep the gift items from one to four years. Not only that, but 89% of the consumers could recall the advertiser’s name 24 months after getting the items. Perhaps the most jaw dropping information from this study, was that the promotional products gained 500% more referrals from customers who were satisfied from the gift items.
Now that you’ve got your thinking cap on, we’ll leave you with this:
A custom designed pin can say a lot about who you are, and what you represent. It is its own canvas who’s small size can deliver a big message. With so many design options, it can be anything you want it to be, from clean and minimalistic to colorful and eccentric. No matter what you choose, nothing can beat the personal touch that it represents. Finding connection with your fan base is hands down the most impactful thing you can do for whatever it is you represent.